Product Roadmap

Give strategic context to your team, not just rigid deadlines, with the help of product roadmaps

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What is a Product Roadmap?

A product roadmap outlines your product vision, key features, milestones, and priorities over time. It helps align teams and stakeholders around these goals and objectives and see a clear path to execution. Product owners can use the roadmap to report on when new functionality will ship to share with the team and even with customers for maximum transparency.

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Game Development Roadmap

What Should be Included in a Product Roadmap?

Time frame - Determine the time frame you want your roadmap to cover. A year, 5 years, a few months, less than a month? This will determine your scope and help you decide how granular and detailed you should be. MOst product roadmaps cover the next 3 to 6 months of development.

Audience - Think about the audience for your roadmap. Is it going to be public? Will customers see it? Or is it for internal use only? Will it be your team or also the stakeholders? This will set the tone of your communication plan.

Vision - It's important that the product strategy is clearly evident and sets the goals and scope of the roadmap.

Features and Functionality - Outline what features the team is planning on working on and releasing given the timeline selected. You may want to mark priorities based on impact and feasibility.

Milestones - Milestones let your team know what the key achievements or deadlines are that they should strive to achieve.

A product roadmap is not written in stone. In fact, it's designed to be adjusted based on feedback or as market or customer needs change.

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What is the Difference between a Gantt Chart and a Roadmap?

Roadmaps offer a high-level strategic vision of where the product is going. A Gantt chart shows a detailed timeline of tasks to be accomplished along with assignment details and dependencies. Both have their place in product development and project management. Learn more about Gantt charts.

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Gantt Chart vs Product Roadmap
Choosing roadmap template

How to Make a Product Roadmap in SmartDraw

Step 1. Start with a product roadmap template

You'll get a basic roadmap template with some products and a time frame that includes a few quarters.

Step 2. Determine your time frame

Replace quarters with months or years as you need. You can easily add or delete columns using the SmartPanel to the left of the roadmap that contains your tool pallettes and symbols.

Step 3. Define rows

The rows in a product roadmap can represent different products, different aspects of the same product, or differnet teams working on the same product. SmartDraw makes it easy to change the labels and add and delete rows as needed.

Step 4. Add initiatives and features

Use the bars to represent the development of features and functionality. You can drag and drop additional bars to your roadmap and use your mouse to drag the bar to extend or shorten the time frame for the development of that particular feature.

To move any bar along the time frame, click and drag the green arrows on the bar. This allows you to control where the bar appears on your roadmap horizontally. To move your bar vertically, just grab it and move it to another row.

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Product Roadmap Examples

Check out these product roadmaps created with SmartDraw:

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Discover why SmartDraw is the easiest product roadmap software today.

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